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Summary

When you’ve maxed out your level, done every quest, and defeated every enemy, there’s not much left. So after seven centuries of immortality, Sean wants nothing more than to die. Afterall was touted as a paradise, an afterlife where anyone could pursue their interests, from archery to zookeeping. The gaming was the stuff of legend, but for Sean it had grown stale.

But when a woman from a past life informs him of a real, flesh-and-blood descendant that has hacked his way in, Sean finds a new purpose. The AI doesn’t take kindly to interlopers, and parks the intruder in the one realm so buggy that even the oldest, most powerful denizens of Afterall steer clear of it - the Bitrealm.

Sean must enter a land created for the original gamers, people like him who cut their teeth on some of the first video games released to the public. Will Sean brave the pixelated wilderness of Bitrealm to rescue his lost kin? Or will he fall victim to the force that has been making people vanish? One thing’s for certain, he can’t do it alone. He’s going to need a few members of his original guild.

He’s going to need some Eight-Bit Bastards.

Book Two:

Sean and the Bastards have entered the Bitrealm, and so far it hasn’t been all 1-Ups and treasure. They’ve tracked Pliny down to a castle in the mountains to the north, and they’ll need every bit of their skills, honed while playing some of the first and greatest video games, to survive its depths. But it won’t be easy. The castle soon takes its toll, separating the party and pitting them against some of the most dangerous creatures they’ve faced yet - creatures that may not be what they seem. Something has been tormenting the souls of Afterall, transforming them into shadows of their former selves. And with every twist and turn the castle throws at them, that something is getting closer. Add in a devious AI, a skeleton who’s watched too much TV, and more retro gaming goodness than you can shake a joystick at, and you have Eight-Bit Bastards.

©2019 Joshua Mason (P)2019 Spectrum Audiobooks

What listeners say about Eight-Bit Bastards: Levels One and Two

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

now this is how you do throw backs

this book keeps throwing memories at me and I'm loving it, because it's never the focus it just "happens to happen" while the plot trucks forward impressive writing... Michael does a great job, I could wish for his females being a little bit better, but that's nitpicking... and whoever did the sound design needs to get a medal! so on point

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really enjoyable easy listen

Pretty different to other litrpg books I’ve read or listened to. Firstly the narrator was great, clearly spoken, good range of voices and very expressive. Really interesting story, enjoyed all the characters, a fun and easy listen. Definitely recommend

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fun and different take on the genre

Despite this being two books combined, the runtime does not seem very long at all with the author keeping the story moving along at a brisk pace with his interesting take on this genre, focusing on more retro games rather than the vrmmo-style of games that most authors obviously gravitate towards. The group of heroes assembled by the main character are an interesting mix and those characters they meet along the way that are not being deliberately written as an 8-bit era npc also help to add depth to the story too, which has a lot more going on in the background than the initially simple premise that starts the adventure in the first place. The narrator gives a good performance, a good range of distinctive voices for the main cast and he is aided by some suitably retro bits of game audio that add to the atmosphere without seeming too obtrusive. Overall, an entertaining listen and a fun take on the litrpg genre. [Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

8-Bit Buddies to the Rescue

Step into a digital afterlife hundreds of years after being created. The characters spend most of their time in an rpg section of the afterlife they exist in. I liked the idea that this wasn't another origin story of a vr game, giving a bit of a twist on a typical litrpg. I do feel like the author could have benefited from exploring the world a bit more, though. The world this book focuses on in very interesting, but we only see snapshots of much of it. I would be interested in a prequel to the books, especially if it focused on a different MC. The MC was mostly unlikable and I found myself caring more for the side and support characters. He is too self centered and unapologetic for a person his age, and it just made me not care for his character development. The narrator did a decent job and was glad to hear another person I wouldn't mind reading me stories in the future. He did well in keeping pace and differentiating most of the characters. The few other problems I have with 8 Bit Bastards is the lack of an ending and the sound effects which both seem to jump out at your and are a bit too high volume compared to the narrator. I love myself some litrpg, and I think the concept kept me interested enough to take this book to the end. It is a decent read, but enjoy the journey and don't expect a big conclusion (many loose ends). I received a free review copy and am leaving a voluntary review.

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What an Adventure in the 8 bit world!

It's one of the few books that I got through in 1 sitting - the story is easy to follow and the narration is really good, in the beginning it felt similar to TV show Upload, but once the got into the 8 bit world, I can honestly say I have not read or seen anything comparable. the story paints a very vivid journey in that world that keeps you always wanting to hear more - so be warned: once you finish this book, you will want to know what happens at Level 3!

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Fun story with lots of game references.

Interesting story about a group of bored and long since played out people in a "afterlife" style virtual reality, where dying starts to look good after 700 years of being alive. One more quest to save a great-great-great grandkid is maybe just enough to motivate them to give it one more shot. great twists and fun gameworlds. The narrator is fun and engaging, keeping everything clear and with good tempo to keep the story going.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A joyride of crazy silliness.

As someone who grew up at the advent of home videogames, this book worked really well for me. As a lover of retro, 8-bit is my thing (not this silly pixel-art fad occurring in games today) and the idea of a group of MMORPG gamers entering an 8-bit world is my dream and the narrator was suitable exciting and animated to fit the classic game style perfectly. With a pretty interesting cast and a great sense of urgency due to the toil the 8-bit world took on the players, the book was a real page-turner but I do have to say that quite often the book seemed to forget it was 8-bit and described things in a far more real-world way which was quite jarring. With a solid, yet strangely unsatisfying ending I am looking forward to the next but the author needs to find some new tricks to pull to prevent the series becoming a one-trick-pony.

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A Really good game story

I have read or tried to read a few books based in a game but never finished them as they just were so silly. This one is so different. The characters are fleshed out enough to make you engage with them and the storyline is good. You find yourself immersed in the world fully and are really caught up in it. I had thought I would never read another of these books but as I was offered this book to listen to for free plus other positive reviews I thought I would request it and am glad I did. I will definitely be purchasing the other books in the series..

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It's a nice book

Definitely not Shakespeare's work but overall it's a nice fun book, containing an interesting idea about a world in 8 bit

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Profile Image for Ray Johnson
  • Ray Johnson
  • 26-02-20

What Up homeskillets?!!

Joshua Mason returns more powerful than ever in his new series 8-Bit bastards. Personally, I look forward to the next books in his series including sixty-four bit SonsofBitches, eleven megabyte mother fu (Shut your mouth). Mmmmhmmm. Seriously, I enjoyed Mason’s Steam Alley book, but this one is where he seems to find his stride. He has substantive strife between his party members based on past actions, as well as the very subject of that strife being a reason for them to come together, that being the MC’s libido. The premise is fairly simple, like an 8 bit game, People enter a virtual world where they will live out eternity; the game fills up and is shut down to any more entrants. There are multiple worlds and levels in the gameverse, but even that is not enough to keep the inhabitants from having seen it and done it all. All except for one eight bit game level that the players cannot game in because it drives them nuts. The game AI just so happens to shunt anyone caught trying to break into the game into that level and keeping them locked up there, don’t worry they can hack it have been indoctrinated to it before any other game worlds, but they are permanently trapped. Bad news for our heroes because one of their descendants has just gotten himself exiled there and they have to go off to free him. That’s the premise, and the audio is comprised of two books in the series. They are fun jaunts and funny as hell in some spots. I really liked Nessler, the goofy boatman who calls everyone homeskillet and fires fingerguns at them. The story moves along well, and does a little spotlight on each character as they get their new classes in the 8 bit realm. I enjoyed the book(s) a lot and think that this is a cool world to visit, and I appreciated that we started the entire book already in game and didn’t have to wallow through going into the FIVER/Diver stuff or watch the characters muddle around picking their classes. Heck they were even skilled enough that they worked as a team pretty efficiently. This made the story move quicker, felt distilled (as if nothing extraneous was involved), and that we were able to get down to brass tacks rather than playing jacks waiting for events to unfold. There is also some intrigue and behind the scenes machinations going on that keeps things interesting. The only question that really through me off is that there is a player who takes copious notes throughout the book, and gets upset when his notes are ruined or lost, and yet everyone there has a photographic memory of anything that happened to them after they arrived, so there is no need to get upset over ruined notes as you could literally rewrite them line for line. Otherwise, I think it all worked well. Michael Norman Johnson does his job. Like I said there are some honestly funny parts in this book ,and Johnson is half the reason they work. He could have seriously stubbed his toe trying to get Nessler right, but he nails the guy’s personality in just his voice, the same with the note taking party member. I enjoyed his pacing and his inflections, which gave the nice subtle hints as to what the characters were thinking. Mason made a good choice with Johnson. And here’s a disclaimer, as Forrest Gump once said, “No, we are not relations, sir.” So he earned the good word all on his own. And I totally need a Nessler Plushie now!! Final score, 8 stars. I had fun with the book, which was mason’s intention all along, or else why would he call it 8-bit bastards? You’ll enjoy this too.

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  • Adam
  • 06-01-20

A fun ride!

i drive for 10-11 hrs a day amd go through audio books like breathing. it can be difficult to find a book that keeps me as entertained as this one did. i look forward to more. thanks for the ride

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tyler Mitchell
  • 28-02-20

Cheesy, campy, and great

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. TLDR; Like a D&D campaign gone awry. This is a fun listen, it's really got an early 90's D&D campaign, that the DM lost control of and just keeps letting things roll. The characters play with some "standard" character types, but they tweak them in fun ways. There's a lot of fairly "adult" humor, and the characters aren't really great people, but that's what makes it so much fun. Overall, a fun listen, worth the time if you enjoy D&D or LitRPG. Avoid it if you don't care for "adult" humor.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DBNB
  • 26-02-20

Nostalgia and Hilarity!

Great writing and narration in this Gamelit. Laughed out loud many times. A little bit of adult humor mixed in with this unique take a Gamelit that mixes the game up a bit. if you're an old school gamer you'll enjoy this.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Hesson
  • 23-02-20

Great books

These books are great. So nostalgic. My first litRPG listen. I fear this is a one of a kind. I highly suggest it. You won't be able to stop listening! Give this a listen you won't regret it!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A Murphy
  • 18-02-20

Old school afterlife

Sean elected to have his consciousness transferred into a video game themed afterlife. After several hundred years, everyone has pretty much done everything. Fifty years ago, they closed down entrance for new people. This is why it came as a shock when he found that a distant relative hacked into the afterlife. His great great was dropped into the 8 bit realm. This was an expansion that was designed for people who grew up in the 80s. However, it simply felt wrong there and everyone only lasted minutes in there. Sean needs to figure out how to rescue his great great. This will not be easy and they is if everything goes smoothly. This is a great series with fun characters. There is strong language used in this book. I did receive a review copy of this book per my request.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric
  • 11-02-20

Entertaining and light read

I received a review copy of this book and wasn't provided any additional compensation. That being said, this book was easy to listen to. I didn't have to give it a lot of focus. It's a pretty standard LitRPG romp with the twist of centuries having passed since the characters joined their online world. The new angle of exhaustion with a forever after was interesting, and the RP1 style obsession with 80s gaming nostalgia kept it interesting. The narrator did a great job, there were scattered (appropriate) sound effects, and overall I would recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-02-20

Fun and Interesting

A great take on the what if we could download our minds to a server and live forever. Made even better with an original idea and well crafted characters. This is a book written well then wnhanced by its chosen narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zackary brooks
  • 07-02-20

exactly what i was hoping for

this hit every mark i was hoping for it to be. the story gives that nostalgic feel of old school gaming, while not over doing it. it's creative, and a very different feel than I've seen from litrpgs. characters were awesome, and that were executed well. narration was awesome. voices were well done, and really brought it home with inner monologues without making it seem it was part of narration. will definitely be looking forward to the next parts of this series.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kenny ray
  • 03-02-20

8-bit afterlife

new spin on the litrpg style. I really enjoyed this. alot of old game game jokes.. 8-bit jokes if you will. the characters are developed well as well is the back story and environment. really like how the story progresses. the narrator does a good job as well. well read. the music and background noises were well placed.

2 people found this helpful